Archive | August, 2012

Get and got

28 Aug

“Get” is a useful verb but, as The Economist Style Guide says, “it has its limits”. A politician does not get to be party leader, he/she becomes party leader; nor does an employee get a promotion, he/she is given a promotion or even, perhaps, earns one.

“Got”, the past participle of “get”, is even more frequently misused. In conversation, we all tend to say, “I’ve got” – as in “I’ve got a headache” etc – but “got” is superfluous here. All we really need to say, or write, is, “I have a headache”.

 It is particularly irritating to hear our so-called well-educated politicians banging on about education: “We’ve got to improve standards in English” is a favourite. Yes, indeed, we have – and let’s start with you!

Today’s picture

An interesting piece of lettering in Melbourne, Australia.




The Olympics buzzword

17 Aug

There’s been rather a gap in my blogs – I’ve had (both) kneecaps replaced and that has prevented me getting downstairs to my computer. It gave me a good excuse, though, to do nothing but lie on the bed and watch the Olympics coverage.

 The BBC’s team was excellent: the commentators were knowledgeable and didn’t create too many reasons for me to yell at the screen. The new athletics’ buzzword seems, however, to be “executed” – nobody swam, ran, rowed, jumped, cycled, performed, accomplished or achieved, they all executed. It didn’t seem to matter whether they were British, American, or whatever – they executed. Now, where did that come from?

Today’s picture

The Badlands, South Dakota, 2008